At nine minutes Kate Beacom’s “All Men Must Die!” is a complete swing and miss. I get what she’s going for, here, but all sense of the horror element is lost in favor of this odd indie flourish, and a climax that makes no actual point. While director Beacom does enter in to a turn of events that universal to the intended audience, “All Men Must Die” takes forever to get to the literal splash in the climax, and I was left thinking “That’s it?”
Prudence and Kyle are best friends and stoners who spend a lot of their time in one another’s company. Prudence throws Kyle a birthday party, and one night as Kyle is partying and celebrating, she’s approached by the aggressive friend of one of the male admirers at her party. When he gets hands on with her, things spiral out of control. “All Men Must Die!” doesn’t seem to have too much of a point to it, and I felt genuinely like I’d invested nine minutes in a short that was basically memorable for its neat animated shifts in to new scenes and or settings.
The performances leave a lot to be desired, and the animated shifts eventually just felt like a crutch. The final scene would have had a lot more impact, but Beacom spends way too much time on the sequence and with the sub-par reaction shots, none of it makes a real impact. It’s a shame, because when all was said and done, I at least liked the soundtrack.
The Final Girls Berlin Film Festival runs every year from January 31st to February 3rd.